Handbooks and Policies

It’s no secret that a diverse and inclusive workplace has become critical for success. Clients, investors and talent are increasingly attracted to companies with socially responsible values and progressive workplace polices – with good reason. Diversity and inclusion have been linked to innovation, financial results and employee engagement.

Yet many organizations have long struggled to create impactful diversity and inclusion programs, particularly when it comes to increasing diversity at senior levels. While there is no silver bullet to eliminate bias, you can advance your diversity and inclusion program by making it a core component of your corporate culture and implementing practical strategies to update your initiative.

Click here to read the entire article, originally published on Ethisphere.com.

The value of robust internal reporting procedures was underscored this week when the SEC publicized it’s largest-ever whistleblower awards. On March 19, the SEC issued a press release announcing that three individuals will get more than $83 million for providing information to the agency to help bring a case.

Continue Reading Best Practices For An Effective Whistleblower / Internal Reporting Program In The US

In the wake of the #metoo movement, several lawmakers proposed legislation to ban confidentiality provisions in workplace sexual harassment settlements.

Critics of confidentiality agreements say that they enable serial abusers and silence victims. But, some advocates question whether a ban could actually harm individuals. For instance, some victims may actually prefer confidentiality and the prospect of publicity may discourage them from coming forward. Further, the promise of confidentiality may lead to larger (and earlier) monetary settlements for victims.

Continue Reading #MeToo Breaks Silence, Legislators Follow: Confidentiality Provisions

The use of mandatory employment arbitration agreements has long been the subject of debate, but the controversy has intensified since the inception of the #MeToo movement. Some legislators believe that mandatory arbitration of sexual harassment claims silences harassment victims and perpetuates harassment.

Continue Reading #MeToo Breaks Silence, Legislators Follow: Arbitration Agreements

With the current focus on US multinational operations around the world and the pressure to meet globally acceptable and locally effective compliance, companies regularly turn to global employment policies as a tool to manage their local employment-related risks. Often the desire is to house these policies in a single “global” employment handbook. As efficient as it may seem to have a single employment handbook, a truly one-size-fits-all single, global handbook most often is not a realistic option. This paper discusses the potential problem with a single “global” handbook and outlines three approaches to get US multinationals to the same result while fully complying with local laws.

Click here to read the entire article, originally published in Bloomberg BNA.

On the heels of the Second Circuit’s decision that sexual orientation discrimination violates Title VII, advocates for LGBTQ rights scored another victory in federal court. On March 7, 2018, the Sixth Circuit unanimously ruled in EEOC v. R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes, Inc. that discrimination on the basis of transgender and transitioning status violates Title VII’s prohibition on sex-based discrimination.

Continue Reading Another Federal Court Victory For LGBTQ Rights–The Sixth Circuit Follows The Lead Of The Second And The Seventh Circuits

On February 26, 2018, the Second Circuit became the second federal appellate court to rule that sexual orientation discrimination is prohibited by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, following the Seventh Circuit’s April 2017 decision in Hively v. Ivy Tech Community College, which reached the same conclusion.

Continue Reading Diverging From The DOJ, The Second Circuit Rules That Sexual Orientation Discrimination Is Prohibited By Title VII

We asked our Canadian colleague, partner Christopher Burkett, to describe the current labor and employment landscape in Canada and here’s what Chris had to say:

It’s evolving at a fast pace. With a left-leaning Liberal government in power at both the federal and provincial level (Canada and Ontario), legislative priorities have included legalizing marijuana, improved parental and care-giving benefits and strengthening other employee rights. As with many other parts of the world, the ever-increasing compliance landscape and the expectations of the public and employees are reshaping the workplace, and there is an increasing emphasis on internal investigations and legislative protections for workers. In addition, Canada is beginning to look closely at corporate activity abroad in terms of labor/human rights and supply chains. The government recently announced an ombudsperson for responsible business. The government is also considering a Modern Slavery Act. All of this means we are partnering with employers to look around the corner and help our clients be proactive and to fight back where there has been overreach.

We recommend subscribing to the Canadian Labour and Employment Law blog to keep up-to-date on these and other new developments impacting employers with operations in Canada.

On February 21, 2018, the US Supreme Court narrowed the definition of the term “whistleblower” under the Dodd-Frank Act. The Court found that to be a “whistleblower” covered by Dodd-Frank’s anti-retaliation provision, an employee must report concerns about their employer’s conduct to the Securities and Exchange Commission. In other words, an employee who reports such concerns only internally is not entitled to protection under Dodd-Frank.

Continue Reading The US Supreme Court Narrows Definition Of “Whistleblower” Under Dodd-Frank

We put our heads together to come up with some predictions for 2018.

Read the Horizon Scanner for more details but, in a nutshell, we predict:

  1. Multiplying statutory obligations aimed at closing the gender pay gap
  2. A push to become data-privacy compliant before GDPR is effective May 25, 2018
  3. Growing paid leave benefits for families around the globe
  4. A renewed focus to protect company assets globally
  5. Consistent deal growth with a particular bent towards “insourcing” arrangements

Click HERE to get the full picture!